Serena Williams graces the cover of ‘Self’ magazine in a stunning photo, and throws down the gauntlet as far as body shaming goes, declaring, ‘declaring, ‘I love my body.’ The tennis legend, as always, speaks with candor and with courage.

 Serena Williams

Photo: Serena Williams
Credit: PR Photos

Serena Williams, at nearly 35 (her birthday is in September) will compete in the Rio Olympics. She’s got four gold medals and is aiming for yet more gold capping off a legendary career that’s far from over. After all, she just won Wimbledon, and with that victory, brought her career total of Grand Slam titles to 22, which ties the record set by Steffi Graf. Despite the naysayers or even the calendar watchers, she’s the No. 1 tennis player in the world and has been, as of this writing, for the past, 177 consecutive weeks and with 22 to date, has tied

While she’s been celebrated on the court for the history-making achievements, she’s been plagued throughout her career with body shaming. In Self magazine, she addressed this forcefully, saying, ‘I love my body, and I would never change anything about it.’

She went on to say, ‘I’m not asking you to like my body. I’m just asking you to let me be me. Because I’m going to influence a girl who does look like me, and I want her to feel good about herself.’

Continuing, she added, “I have this platform that other people don’t have. I think it’s important, especially as a woman, to stand up for who you are and what you believe in – and not back down.”

And she’s done just that, in interview after interview and public comment after public comment. Nonetheless, the social media trolling is incessant. But it goes to show that taking a stand means not allowing yourself to waver in what are, after all, just the opinions of anonymous people who get far too much of a spotlight. How many articles have we seen on this celebrity or that celebrity responding to trolls. The rule really should be, quite simply, don’t feed the trolls!

She further revealed the mental toughness that’s made her the champion she’s been since the 1990s, when she spoke of her upcoming challenges, the Rio Olympics and beyond. She told the publication of her passion for the sport, saying. “This is my heart.” She went on to say, “This is my blood. I live for this and have for the last 32 years. When I step out on the court, you’re going to get all of me.”

You can see the full article here and check out the Serena Williams’ Self magazine cover and photos below!